The Oregonian reported yesterday that a Portland man was sentenced to 6-months in jail for a hit and run involving an injured person. Ryan Jacko had downed whiskey and three beers before heading to a Trail Blazer game. After the game he struck and seriously injured a pedestrian before leaving the scene.
In Oregon a hit and run conviction can carry serious penalties. A hit and run charge involving an injured person, depending on the severity of the injury, is either a class C (maximum of 5 years in prison) or class B felony (maximum of 10 years in prison). If you are involved in an accident, and you know that a person was injured as a result, your duty is to immediately stop, remain at the scene, and exchange information with the injured person. In addition, if you are involved in an injury accident, the law requires that you render any person injured in the accident “reasonable assistance.” That includes transporting or making arrangements for the transport of the injured person to a hospital. So, if you are involved in such an accident, you should use care in assessing the situation. If you have been charged with Hit and Run involving an injured person, it is critical that you speak to an attorney right away.
Not all Hit and Run charges involve injured persons. You can be charged with hit and run involving property as well. A driver’s responsibilities when involved in a Hit and Run accident involving property vary depending on the property at issue:
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING ATTENDED VEHICLES:
If a driver is involved in an accident involving a vehicle attended by another person, the driver must stop (either immediately at the scene or as close there to as possible), and remain at the scene and exchange information with the other driver.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING AN UNATTENDED VEHICLE:
If a driver is involved in an accident that involves damage to an unattended vehicle adjacent to the roadway (i.e. a parked car), the driver must immediately stop and either, locate the owner of the vehicle and exchange information or leave a note in a conspicuous place in the struck vehicle. The note must contain the driver’s name, address, and a statement regarding the circumstances of the accident.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING DAMAGE TO FIXTURES:
If the accident involved damage to fixtures adjacent to a roadway (i.e. a road sign, fence, etc.) the driver must take reasonable steps to notify the owner of the property of the driver’s name, address and registration number of the vehicle that struck the property. Note, when the accident involves damage to fixtures, this is the only circumstance that doesn’t require the driver to immediately stop and leave a note and communicate, or attempt to communicate with the owner. Instead, the law requires that reasonable steps be taken to identify the owner of the property.
If you have been charged with Hit and Run (aka Failure to Preform the Duties of a Driver), it is critical that you discuss your case with an attorney experienced in this area of the law to evaluate your case, and to discuss your options moving forward.